Apple (AAPL) announced today a dividend and share buyback. The dividend of $2.65 per share (quarterly) represents a 1.8% yield and should make the stock available for purchase by funds unable to own non-dividend paying stocks. The shares, presently trading at just under $600 per share, are valued at 13.5x the calendar year 2012 estimate. The median price target of the 58 analysts covering the stock is $629 per share.
Owners of the Mets reached a $162 million settlement with the trustee in the Bernie Madoff case. By settling the defendants avoided a trial set to begin soon. The question in the trail was whether the Mets’ owners had acted in bad faith when they withdrew money from Madoff. The Attorney General must think the Mets owners are smarter than the SEC, which had been conducting annual audits on Madoff for years and had received numerous inquiries about his operations without identifying any wrongdoing.
The IMF is reporting that China is “heading for a soft landing”, not a hard landing. The National Bureau of Statistics said apartment prices dropped in 45 of 70 cities last month.
Seventeen Chevron (CVX) and Transocean (RIG) employees are being held in Brazil. The employees are facing charge related to an oil spill in November. The detained employees were forced to turn in their passports to police.
We discussed the surge in bonds last week. The 10 year treasury jumped from 2.04% to 2.31% last week, and is down slightly again this morning, trading at 2.33%. Mortgage rates have risen slightly, from 3.87% to 3.92%.
CoreLogic is reporting that the price of non-distressed houses increased by 0.7% from December to January.
The first weekend of the 2012 NCAA tournament kicked off this weekend with 48 games over three days. The biggest first round upsets were #15 Lehigh knocking off #2 Duke and #15 Norfolk State squeaking past #2 Missouri. In the second round #3 Georgetown was upset by #11 North Carolina State. The biggest surprise in the Sweet 16 is #13 seeded Ohio, who will face #1 seed North Carolina on Friday. UNC will be without point guard Kendall Marshall, who fractured his wrist.
Have a great day